Do the ground work – Charlotte O’Connor

26 Jul Do the ground work – Charlotte O’Connor

Course studied: BSc Biomedical Sciences with Professional Experience
Year of graduation: 2015


When I left Brunel…
My plan was to  return to Clinical Research having completed a placement at PAREXEL International during my undergraduate degree.

At the moment…
I was working as an Assistant Project Manager at PAREXEL International after graduating and was promoted to an Associate Project Manager the following year. In the last month I’ve moved to the Cancer Research UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre, as a Trial Coordinator working on haematology and brain oncology trials.

How my career goals have changed…
I had planned to stay with PAREXEL to reach Project Manager level within the Early Phase part of the organisation I was working. On advice from colleagues and my own observations working in the industry, I decided I needed external experience in different research trial phases (Late Phase) and some more hands on / less Project Management experience.

How I have developed professionally since graduating…
I have a wider understanding of Clinical Research from both industry and academic perspectives. My confidence in presenting and networking has increased. I’ve also gained confidence in my interview technique having been successful in promotions / new positions I’ve interviewed for.

How I have developed personally since graduating…
I feel like I have matured and ‘grown up’ a little, especially as I am living away from my family home supporting myself without the safety net of a University residency team! I also think through working I’m better at dealing with criticism and rationally listening to advice and taking it on board.

My advice to recent graduates/students graduating soon…
If your plan is to get a job when you leave University, do the ground work as early as possible! Be it a relevant placement, work experience, volunteering… you’re competing with a lot of people and the experience will be essential.

Take advantage of Brunel’s Careers team too! Hone your application and interview skills as they’ll stay with you in the years to come.